The Associated Press is advising its reporters and editors that less is more.
AP's managing editor for US News Brian Carovillano sent a memo to staffers asking reporters and editors to work together to make sure articles are "more comprehensive" and "tightly written." Per Carovillano's memo, “most daily, bylined digest stories” should be between 300 and 500 words, while the top 1-2 stories in each state should be between 500 and 700 words. The Washington Post shared the full memo with readers on Monday.
"We are failing to exercise important news judgment when our stories are overlong and not tightly edited," the memo read. "We will be closely monitoring story lengths across state and national lines to make sure we are all living up to this commitment."
The news wire service said that readers "do not have the attention span for most long stories" and that too much valuable time is being wasted on cutting down such stories. Carovillano noted that AP's readers and members have spoken and are "near-unanimous" in their desire for shorter content.
The memo concluded that training sessions should be expected in the upcoming days on guidelines for tight writing. AP has announced several major style changes in recent months that have journalists a little freaked out, to say the least.